You Deserve It *claps malignantly*

At what point did people start getting the idea that wrestlers have "wasted" potential, or careers, or whatever they want to call it, just because they never had a run on top?
There are so many guys that spend their whole career in the midcard and draw better and more consistently than some champions. It should be a compliment that you can draw without a belt, but now it seems to be taken by some fans as some kind of insult. When did it become necessary for a wrestler to have a title reign to be considered great?

I don't really think applies any longer, since most guys can't even be considered draws now.  At the point when your argument applied, guys weren't huge marks for themselves and they didn't need titles when they were making money off Hogan matches and such.  So we'll say that the tipping point was the post-Attitude Era, which is the weird divide between the period when lots of people could draw and the period when no one draws.